Owls Fight to Extra Innings in USCAA Tourney

Owls Fight to Extra Innings in USCAA Tourney

AKRON, OH – The University of Maine at Presque Isle Softball team (22-15) played to extra innings games in the USCAA Tournament.  They would fall in the opening round to Carlow (17-18-1) by a score of 4-3 in 9 innings.  They would then take on Penn State – Beaver (18-18).  The Owls would lose the nightcap in the 8th inning, by a score of 3-2.

Carlow 4, UMPI 3 (9 Inn.)

Carlow would grab the lead in the first, when their leadoff hitter would single and advance to third.  The Celtics would take advantage of a defensive miscue by the Owls to plate an unearned run. 

UMPI would not have a baserunner until the fourth inning, when a Carlow defensive error would get things started for the Owls.  Ayana Walker (FR, Columbus, GA) would record the first hit of the game for the Owls, a double, which would drive in a run and tie the game up.  UMPI would take the lead in the fifth, as Brianna Losee (JR, Pittsfield, ME) would single with two outs.  Back-to-back errors would cost the Celtics, as Losee would come around to score.

Carlow would tie the game in the sixth.  After a leadoff single, Allison Hryadil (SR, Kennedy Township, PA) would drive in a run with a double.  UMPI's defense would stiffen and end the inning with an unconventional double play.  With the go-ahead run at third, a groundball to the left side would result in an out at first, and then a perfect throw to the plate to get the runner trying to score.  The Owls would overcome another error in the seventh and strand that runner, forcing extra innings.

In extras each team starts with a runner on second.  The Owls would be aggressive in their half, as the runner, Ariel Williams (FR, Frisco, TX), would steal third, and score on a bunt single from Jordi Legassie (JR, Presque Isle, ME).  The Owls would not get anything else going, but take the one run lead.  After a sacrifice bunt to move the runner over to third, the Celtics would use some good base running to tie the game on a fly ball caught in foul territory by the Owls' second baseman.  The Celtics would strand one runner in the inning, forcing another inning. 

The Owls would get their runner to third with no one out, taking advantage of a wild pitch.  That luck would run out, however as a groundball to the right side would result in a flip from the first baseman to the second baseman covering for the first out.  The Owls would stick with the aggressive base running that got them the run in the 8th, and this time that run would be cut down at the plate, as the throw home on the play would be on target.  The Celtics would survive an error in the inning, and get a chance for a walk-off win in the bottom of the inning.  With one out, Molly Patsch (SR, Rochester, PA) would single to left to drive in the game winner.

The Owls would collect just five hits in the contest.  Sara Packard (JR, St. Albans, ME) would be tagged with the loss, despite giving up just two earned runs in eight and one third innings.  She would strike out five and only allow five hits.

Penn St. – Beaver 3, UMPI 2

Both teams would miss big opportunities early in the matchup.  The Owls would load the bases in the top of the first with one out, only to see their RBI opportunities go by the wayside with two strikeouts to end the inning.  Penn St.-Beaver would squander a leadoff double in the second, getting one runner cut down at the plate and leaving the bases loaded without plating a run. 

The Owls would finally break the tie in the fourth.  Sara Packard would lead off the inning with a triple, but watch as the next two batters would be retired without being able to advance the runner.  With two outs Nicole Marucci (JR, Naples, ME) would send a double to right field to drive in that run.  She would score on Ariel Williams' single to left, and UMPI would hold a 2-0 lead. 

Penn State-Beaver would cut that lead in half in the fifth inning, scoring on an RBI groundout, but the would still trail going into their last at bat in the bottom of the seventh.  They would waste no time in that final inning of regulation, getting back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning and tie the game.  The Owls would work out of the inning to once again go into extra innings. 

In the top of the 8th the Owls would get their runner caught trying to advance to third.  UMPI would not be able to get anything else generated, leaving the door open going into the bottom of the inning.  Penn State-Beaver would take advantage.  They would sacrifice their runner over to third, and an error by the UMPI defense would allow the runner to score, ending the game.

Emma Gogan (FR, Truro, NS) would collect three hits in four at bats for the Owls.  Packard would give up just two earned runs, and walk just one.

The Owls will wrap up their season on Tuesday as they face Penn State-Fayette in the ninth place game of the USCAA National Tournament.  That game is scheduled for 2 PM.